NYC Study Tour Provides Insight, Career Ideas for Global Luxury and Management Students
Students in the Global Luxury and Management graduate program – offered jointly by the NC State University Poole College of Management and SKEMA Business School – “get a grounding” in what the luxury industry is all about, says Anthony Robins, managing partner of RoundOak Equity based in New York City and a member of the dual degree program’s industry advisory board. It “teaches students how to market a product and the experience.”
The program itself also “says a lot about the student and the student’s ability,” said Joe Blair, president of Individualized Apparel Group and also a Global Luxury and Management board member. “When you look at the course offering, it’s comprehensive; it covers all the things that I’ve experienced in 41 years in business.”
Robins, Blair and several other Global Luxury and Management industry advisory board members – each representing various segments of the specialized global luxury market – commented on the program in a set of video highlights from the students’ fall 2017 New York City Study Tour.
That experience provided the 39 dual degree students from seven countries an up-front view of the various components of the luxury market they have been studying this past semester. Their study tour included learning sessions at Louis Vuitton, Trunk Club, Sherry-Lehmann, Christian Liaigre, Kravet, Tesla, Global Brands Group, The Peninsula New York, Smeg, and firms serving the luxury industry, such as Wealth-X and Time Warner Medialab. They also attended a networking event where current student Monica Mayer spoke to members of the academic program’s Industry Advisory Board and alumni.
The on-site tours also provided the companies an opportunity to introduce themselves to the students, as Ali Carruthers, human resource coordinator at Trunk Club, explained in an email response to Kathleen Black, assistant director of the luxury program.
“Trunk Club,” Carruthers wrote, “chose to open its doors to your students because of the unique opportunity you offer. We knew you’d attract a special crowd of students and we love these kinds of tours to give a more in-depth look at what we do. Trunk Club is a fairly new company, so most students don’t know our customer proposition or employer proposition, so it’s great to show them that there is another option out there in the fashion industry after graduation, that isn’t corporate but also isn’t traditional retail.”
Following is a selection of remarks from students about the experience, condensed and lightly edited for clarity.
Victoria Babeau: Communication is essential: Understanding the customers, being professional, creating relationships, developing strategies, selling products and services. That includes understanding consumer behavior.
Johan O Bavamian: “Branding, customer relationship management and innovation challenges are some of the topics we are discussing in class that were omnipresent during the study tour.”
Jasmine Blount: Luxury has eight characteristics – rarity, excellence, expensiveness, timelessness, authenticity, tailored, pleasurable and experience – “but rarity was the one the professionals cited as being their differentiator; that, plus consistency.”
Eva Cutrone: The experience reinforced for her that “luxury is the industry I want to evolve in because of its determination to pursue quality, customer satisfaction and a little bit of magic. The visit at The Peninsula Hotel New York reminded me why I chose this industry (initially). Every day is different in luxury because we are providing a customized experience, which is so interesting.”
Taylor Jones: “At Louis Vuitton, we learned from the client relations manager about the importance of personal relationships with clients and successfully translating the brand and products to the clients. At Trunk Club, (we learned about) the logistics of getting unique pieces to their customer through supply chain management. At Wealth X, (we saw) market research applied to the luxury industry, and also (learned) about a network of business women who are continually learning and growing and promoting women in the industry.”
Marie-Helen Panthier: “Before the tour I was mainly focusing on direct relationships between the company and the final consumer. But visiting Wealth-X and Time Warner Medialab showed that we could know the luxury consumer by other channels. We also learned how companies use social media and digital tools and services. Also, meeting people from different career paths opens our opportunities panel. It is not that important to focus on one single position or sector; try different things that can lead to unsuspected roles.”
Andre Snowden: “The idea of quality being a metric for measuring luxury goods was reinforced. One thing I noticed, while going through the design studio of Kravet, was looking closely at how they paid attention to detail. From what I have seen, you can never be too detailed about something that represents a brand or yourself. Detailed orientation, understanding consumer behaviors, having a strategic mindset, understanding the essence of luxury are just the few key takeaways I would want to implement the most.”
The following videos provide insight about the Global Luxury Management program from career, student and industry perspectives.